Cryonic Temple: Into The Glorious Battle
Cryonic Temple's first concept album Into The Glorious Battle is destined to be not only the best work of their career but perhaps one of the very best this genre ever produced. It ranks up there in pure melodic intelligence with Iron Maiden's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Metal acts of the future might take heed of this cohesive collection of power metal story-songs as a blueprint on how to create an outstanding conceptual release---musically and lyrically---from beginning to end.
The hallmark of artistically (and commercially) successful concept albums is the strong creative foundation necessary to hold the weight of a sophiscated musical structure. It's no accident Queensryche's Operation Mindcrime and Blind Guardian's Nightfall in Middle-Earth contain key introductions and mid-section themes to continue to move the story forward. These pieces are usually elegant instrumentals and/or spoken-word narrations vital to propel the project from good song-writing to grand story-telling.
Cryonic Temple follows suit by opening this opus with "The Beginning of a New Era" which is atypical in that is resonates a time of positive expectations. Often conceptual albums are built on dramatic struggle from the very start. Their mid-section track "The Speech" is again a welcome change of pace for it exhorts soldiers unto war for noble reasons. "Man of a Thousand Faces" is the second track and the beginning of this album in all deep majesty. It is from this song both in sound and lyric that changes any past perception of this band. Vocals for a concept album are monumentally important because the breadth of story cannot be conveyed if the singer sounds like his body is being beaten through the streets of Rome. The vocals here are clear, crisp and confident projections of progressive metal poetry.
Change is magnificent when successful. Cryonic Temple's new musical direction is a brilliant blend of Pretty Maids meets early Europe with today's power metal sensibilities upheld through astounding production values. The next four tracks "All The Kingsmen," "Prepare For War," "Heroes of the Day" and "Mighty Eagle" carefully set the stage for the major battle. What is exciting to note is normally the lyricist rushes to the warfront with little regard to how of all this began. Cryonic Temple again upsets bland expectations by delivering deliberate thematic pacing to reinforce the overall concept and perhaps to permit focus on a diverse palette of surprising harmonic directions.
"Into The Glory Battle" (ironically not synonymous with album's title) is where the war for the future of a faraway land ignites into a glorious battle. History makes it clear that sometimes peace can only be found on the other side of war. Evocative guitar work on this track particularly wins my heart because you can hear the commitment of this band serving the story line even when soloing----every note rings true and makes complete sense.
The next five tracks "Mean Streak," "Flying Over Snowy Fields," "Can't Stop The Heat," "The War Is Useless" and "Heavy Burden" move the story to the second half where the prosecution and consequences of war weigh as just as much on civilians as they do on the pilots dying in the skies. Bravo to the vocalist whom expertly judges each song theme and belts out correspondingly the right chord to match the right mood. Another promising sign that the band has bought into every facet of this futuristic fantasy.
The final track "Freedom" is set apart in my ears and eyes as a lyrical lighthouse shining brilliantly at night to steer lost and weary travelers away from the jagged rocks of rugged reality. In the short canon of metal concept albums none have concluded their stories in a positive manner. Cryonic Temple have turned the tables upside down and bravely present a stirring conclusion to a noble but costly battle. This musical development alone would be unprecedented if not for the additional fact that "Freedom" is nearly an eight-minute semi-ballad. We are frequently the choices we make and the choices Cryonic Temple has repeatedly made throughout this album speak volumes about their creative minds and their steadfast heart.
- The Beginning Of A New Era (Intro) (2:31)
- Man Of A Thousand Faces (5:21)
- All The Kingsmen (4:47)
- Prepare For War (4:31)
- Heroes Of The Day (5:13)
- Mighty Eagle (3:31)
- Into The Glory Battle (4:19)
- The Speech (0.56)
- Mean Streak (3:04)
- Flying Over Snowy Fields (4:17)
- Can't Stop The Heat (4:43)
- The War Is Useless (5:12)
- Heavy Burden (5:32)
- Freedom (7:50)
Added: April 21st 2017
Reviewer: Mark Antony Rossi
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
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